Tom Smith is the best hitter on hiscompany's baseball team. For weeks during the playing season, Tom hit a homerun in every game the team played. But then suddenly he stopped hitting homeruns. He could not hit the baseball at all.
One day he struck out three times in onegame. He said, "I am afraid I am losing it."
Mary Jones bought a dress in a woman'sclothing store. She felt very happy about buying the dress until she got home.Then she remembered she had left her credit card at the store when she used itto pay for the dress. It was the third time that month that Mary had forgottensomething important.
Mary was angry with herself. She said,"Am I losing it?"
Emma Cleveland was teaching a class inmathematics at a college. She began to explain to the students how to solve avery difficult problem. She understood it very well. But somehow, at thatmoment, she could not explain it. Emma said, "I must be losing it."
Americans seem to have a lot of concernabout losing it. At least that is what you would think from hearing them talk.They use the expression when they feel they are losing control. It can meanlosing emotional control. Or losing the ability to do something. Or losingmental powers.
Word experts differ about how theexpression started. Some believe it came from television programs popular inthe nineteen eighties. Others believe it began with psychologists andpsychiatrists who deal with how people think, feel and act.
One psychologist said, "We Americanshave many concerns about controlling our lives. Perhaps we worry toomuch."
She continued, "In many situations, tosay you are losing it eases the tension. It is healthy. And most people who saythey are having a problem are not losing it."
People may feel more like they are losingit when they are "down in the dumps." People who are down in thedumps are sad. They are depressed.
Word expert Charles Funk says people havebeen feeling down in the dumps for more than four-hundred years. Sir ThomasMore used the expression in fifteen thirty-four. He wrote, "Our poorfamily ... has fallen in such dumps."
Word experts do not agree what the worddumps means. One expert, John Ayto, says the word dumps probably comes from theScandinavian countries. The languages of Denmark and Norway both have similarwords. The words mean to fall suddenly.
Americans borrowed this saying. And, overthe years, it has become a popular way of expressing sadness.
Losing It ~~ o , no
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